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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Micronesia/Palau

Aggressor Fleet, Sep, 2010,

by Ms Lynda Durfee, VA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 42 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 5735.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Aruba, Bahamas, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts, Hawaii, Lake Tahoe, Key Largo
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 82 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco; NITROX depth limit
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Separate table; separate rinse buckets; crew carefully handled cameras.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This truly was the trip of a lifetime! I had already booked my timeshare weeks in Hawaii for September, and when Aggressor offered discounts for trips during that month, I opted for a week on the Palau Aggressor in lieu of one of those weeks. I flew to/from Honolulu to Palau, which broke up both the travel time and time-zone adjustment both ways, so I didn't arrive early in Palau and departed on the early Sunday am flight, rather than staying in a day room until a Monday am departure. Everything you've heard about the fabulous diving in Palau is true--sharks, rays, tons of colorful butterfly fish, giant Napalonean wrasses, wonderful walls, colorful coral, etc. There were only four divers to seven crew members, so it was a very relaxing trip with roomm to spread out. Weather can be rainy/windy in September, but we really lucked out, with only some rain/overcast on the first dive day (Monday) and Saturday after we finished our dive/snorkel trips. We even did two morning dives off Peleliu; the crew commented they hadn't been able to make it there is several weeks due to conditions. I did 23 dives (all but the first night dive) and the Jellyfish Lake snorkel. Nitrox reliable at about 32% ($100 for week). Used reef hook on many dives; my first time, and crew were very helpful in hooking me up. Sites: Helmet wreck, Iro Moru, Turtle Cove (twice), Barnum's Wall, Blue Corner, New Drop-off, Fern's wall, German Channel (several times), Peleliu Corner, Pelelieu drop-off, Ngedbus drop-off, Virgin Blue Hole, Blue Hole, Big Drop-off, Coral Garden (night), Siaes Tunnel, Siaes Corner, Ulong Channel (twice in one afternoon), Chandelier Caves. On the Blue Hole dive, the current carried us to the Blue Corner near the end of the dive; not enough no deco time to hook in, but we sure surprised the hook-in dives when we drifted past with a small school of sharks! I'm a fish ID fanatic, and there sure were a lot of varieties to see. Once you've seen dozens of sharks, there's plenty else to see. Watched a titan trigger fish make 5 or 6 attempts to pick up a clam the size of a football; when he finally did, he swam away with it! Crew was outstanding, both onboard and during diving. Diving was from 35-foot skiff lowered from stern with hydraulic lift; all your gear stays on the skiff at individual dive stations (with sun cover); you just climb in/out of the skiff for each dive, back roll, get back in via ladder; back to mother ship after eveyr dive for hot shower, snacks, lunch, nap, sunning, or whatever! What more can I say? On the way to the airport, I was already wishing I could stay longer, and would go back in a heartbeat, next two for two weeks back to back. A liveaboard is definitely the better choice; day boats have 45-60 minute trips each way, and crowd some dive sites. We were the only boat at the site most times (except Blue Corner, German Channel, Ulong Channel), but we had the flexibility to switch sites, entry points. The afternoon we did the Ulong Channel, it was way too crowded the first dive (at 2 pm), but we had it to ourselves at 4:30 pm; while the current wasn't as strong the 2nd time, it was a better dive overall. DMs good at finding unusual critters, dealing with currents, managing time; never felt rushed, and if you wanted to hang back with your buddy a little bit, that was OK. This is definitely a trip for experienced divers with good buoyancy skills. Safety sausages and sound-makers (attached to inflator) were mandatory and provided if you didn't have them. Be prepared to kick/swim if you get separated on a drift dive. On one of the German channel dives, I got blown away from the rest of the group, and was propelled through the shallows; what a ride, and lots of snorkel-depth fish to see. Inflated my sausage, used whistle, and DM came after me with the skiff within minutes (I was ignored by the day boats!) Good thing the skiff has a shallow draft! Food was plentiful and varied, including Asian dishes. One lunch, we had fresh poke made from a yellow-fin tuna the captain had caught that morning! Wine and beer, soft drinks included; you can BYOB liquor; once you've had alcohol, no diving for rest of day. Prime rib on Friday night was a highlight. Dinner is plated; you select from one of two choices posted in the morning. Last night (Saturday) you're on your own for dinner, but you can fill up at the "Captain's
reception at 6 pm. A few bars serving food within walking distance; or take a cab to a fancier place. I'm counting the days till my next Palau trip!
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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